Stumped for a good restaurant to celebrate your wedding anniversary? Curious about the weather in Instanbul? Interested in tracking down your family’s geneaology? Anything you can think of can be searched for on the internet! But the results can be overwhelming and confusing to sort through.
If your search results in thousands of possible web pages, how do you know which one of those pages contains the information you need? There are a few things you can do that will make your web searches more effective:
There are so many search engines to choose from, but the most popular and widely used is Google. For the purpose of this article, we will discuss how to use Google.
Step 1: Open your web browser in the Start menu.
Type www.google.com into your web browser’s URL box.
Step 2: Use settings to filter your search results.
Keep it clean. Google Safe Search is a must for anyone who shares a computer with children or wants to make sure that every search is rated PG. In your search settings, you can change your preferences so that all adult content and images are blocked when you search.
Step 3: Be general or specific with your search terms.
Remember that the more specific you get with your search phrasing, the less web results you will yield. This is perfect if you need information on just one item. If you want a whole lot of information, keep your search terms simple.
- Example: I have some dishware that I need a replacement for. The dishes have a serial number on the back as well as the name of the company who manufactures them. In Google Shopping, type that information.
- Example: I am interested in finding more information on the best dishware to send with my child to college. Using Google, search “college student dishes.”
Step 4: Get specific results with search categories.
Determine the type of information you are seeking. Google allows you to search everything, but you can use Google search categories to be more specific. For example, if you click the category “Images” at the top left side of the page, it will only search images. If you click on “News,” it will search the news. Each category on Google can be specific as you like.
- Example: My husband’s doctor shared with me that Bob is overweight. I want to read more about cooking healthy meals for him. I use Google Books to search. I can then go to advanced search if I know have a specific book in mind or if there is exact phrasing I am interested in, like “gluten free” or “organic.”
Step 5: Use quotation marks in your search.
If you are looking for an article or bit of information that is very specific, you can use quotation marks around your search phrase. This will only give you results that include the exact phrasing you use within the quotation marks. Usually, when you search for things you don’t need to include “the” “a” or other common words. In the case of quotation marks, you should be exact. You can also use quotation marks around part of what you are looking for to find that specific information.
Step 6: Find sites related to your search in Google advertisements.
Keep in mind that in order to keep services free, Google and other search engines place ads. The ads are at the top of the page or along the side. You can tell it’s an ad if, directly above the links it reads “Sponsored Links.” If you’re looking for a product or service, this may be useful. But understand that these links are paid advertisements and not a reflection of the best deals on the internet.